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Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has had the tough task of running PR interference for Nintendo when it comes to supply and demand. The company has been lagging greatly in providing supply of the NES Classic, and now Fils-Aime has been grilled on whether the Switch will be in better supply than its NES counterpart.
Speaking to Gamespot, Reggie Fils-Aime explained that they're confident in the amount of SKUs they have lined up for retailers, saying,
We're working to make sure that the supply chain [for Switch] is robust and there is a steady flow of hardware. The one piece we can't anticipate is the demand side of the equation but certainly from a supply, we feel like we're going to be well-positioned.
According to Reggie Fils-Aime, they have about 2 million SKUs prepping for the March 3rd launch of the Nintendo Switch. The system is available for pre-order right now but outlets like GameStop have reportedly already sold out of their pre-order stock.
While the hype might seem real, the reality is that there were similar amounts of hype for the Wii and Wii U. In fact, the Wii U sold out pretty quickly across most retailers thanks to die-hard Nintendo fans. From September to December, 2012, Videogamer reported that the Wii U moved more than 3 million SKUs.
Of course, the Wii U quickly petered out and 2013 saw its momentum almost come to a complete standstill. A stark lack of software and poor marketing communication led to the Wii U not being able to make a stable impact on the market. Combined with the high-price ($299.99 for the base unit and $329.99 for the deluxe edition) made it a tough sell for both hardcore and casual gamers.
Nintendo is running a risk with releasing the Nintendo Switch at $299.99, but it has a very stark advantage over the Wii U: the Switch is portable.
You can take the system with you wherever you go, and get anywhere between two and six hours of usage out of it. The console will obviously have die-hards picking up a unit on launch day, but the real story will be if they can get more units out of the door throughout the second quarter of 2017 leading into the coveted holiday season.
If Nintendo can keep the supply of the Nintendo Switch flowing smoothly during the first two quarters -- and if they can keep a steady flow of quality software coming out for the system to avoid the fate of the Wii U -- they might be able to secure success with the Nintendo Switch. Of course, there are some roadblocks they will have to overcome as pointed out by those skeptical of the Switch's market run.
Hopefully Nintendo learned from the Wii U and will have a solid launch for the Switch. They have a launch window that's filled with tons of games set for release throughout spring and a total of 80 games in development set to release throughout 2017 and 2018.